Gwar: The Belasco – Los Angeles, Ca – 10/18/18

Scumdogs of the Universe Gwar returned to earth to lay waste on the human filth. In 2017, they released their fourteenth album The Blood of Gods. The first thing you’ll notice about Gwar‘s infamous live performances are their grotesque costumes which makes them look like interplanetary warriors and science-fiction themed mythology. Their stage shows are always filled with satire, comedy, political rants, sexuality, and over-the-top violence. The most notable feature is how Gwar will spray their audience with vasts amount of fake blood, urine, semen, and other liquids of unknown origin leaving their audience drenched in different colors by the time the show ends. The Belasco theater in Los Angeles was the next stop in Gwar‘s intergalactic battle with Earth.

The lights dimmed down as two army soldiers came out to scope out the area where alien life forms had been seen. The members of Gwar started to make their way to the stage and soon found themselves in sword battles with the soldiers as Gwar started the show with War on Gwar. After some fighting, green-colored band member Bonesnapper brought the soldiers to their needs as they begged for mercy. Bonesnapper grabbed his trusty axe and with a swift strike, decapitated the soldiers thus exposing the neck and streams of blood were shot out from the neck and onto the unsuspecting audience. The show got a wild turn right away as fans went wild and moshed while being drenched in blood. During the performance of I’ll Be Your Monster, Bonesnapper brought out two puppets that looked like kids and rubbed them all over vocalist Blöthar the Berserker’s genitals which resemble cow utters. After a quick rub, Blöthar grabbed one of his penises, pointed it at the audience, and let loose blood in an interesting, but hilarious antic. A funny-looking fast food character known as Dickie Duncan came on stage to talk about feeding fast food to kids just as Gwar started playing the song Death to Dickie Duncan. Gwar had enough of Dickie Duncan and Bonesnapper grabbed his axe and split him in two which resulted in his organs being exposed and ended up spraying blood all over the audience. Gwar had something special planned for almost every song performed. When Crushed By the Cross was performed, a priest came out to try and cleanse Gwar of their sins. Gwar quickly silenced him by bashing him over the head with an axe. The priest bled into the audience while frantically running around on stage. Gwar flipped him upside down, took off his pants, and exposed his butthole. Bassist Beefcake the Mighty grabbed the cross belonging to the priest and jabbed it repeatedly into the priest’s butthole which resulted in blood being squirted into the audience. Gwar has never been afraid to show their political views. For the performance of El Presidente, a man that’s supposed to be Trump came out to give one of his less-inspiring speeches about illegal aliens. Blöthar reminded Trump that Gwar are illegal aliens and so the band members engaged in battle with trump before tearing off his suit and ripping his chest open and started to send more blood flying out. Gwar continued their debauchery and slaying of people as they performed monstrous tunes like Viking Death Machine, Saddam a Go-Go, Maggots, and The Sordid Soliloquy of Sawborg Destructo. Nearing the end of the show, a sea of red could be seen from all the fans that had willingly let themselves be drenched in blood and juice. Gwar announced that they were tired of the venue and said their goodbye by performing Fuck This Place. The chorus got the audience raising their middle fingers in the air while shouting, “Fuck This Place!”. Gwar finished the song then took their leave. Fans stayed around and chanted for the band to come back out. Gwar listened to their human filth fans continued the show with Phantom Limb. For the grand finale, Gwar announced that they were sick of the people in the venue so they played the fan-favorite Sick of You. More blood and madness was unleashed onto the fans as they continued to mosh and shove their way to the front to get as wet as possible. Gwar finished their show and left the stage as they prepared for their next voyage to the next unfortunate city. As for the fans? Faces, arms, and shirts were blood-soaked red, yet smiles were seen everywhere. Make America Gwar Again!

 

Carach Angren: 1720 – Los Angeles, CA – 10/12/18

Carach Angren is a symphonic black metal band from the Netherlands. In 2017, they released their fifth studio album Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten. The name means “Iron Jaws” in the Elvish language of Sindarin, and is the name of a fortified pass into North-Western Mordor in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since their first USA tour in 2014, Carach Angren has always been a support act. This year, they embarked on their first headlining tour with Mors Principium Est and Wolfheart as support for the Pitch Black Horror Tour. The mood was set as Los Angeles was drenched by rain and even lightning and thunder in the sky made an appearance to further set the mood. By the time Carach Angren came on stage, the 1720 warehouse was nicely packed as black metal fanatics and metalheads in general were excited for a full set from the Dutch horror masters.

 

The lights went out and the crowd cheered as drummer Ivo “Namtar” Wijers came out on stage to sit on his throne. The keyboard on stage eerily moved by itself as to be possessed before keyboardist Clemens “Ardek” Wijers took his place on the keyboards. Touring guitarist Bastiaan “The Butcher” Boh was next. Singer Dennis “Seregor” Droomers was last to come out. Carach Angren started the show with the first track from the new album, Charlie. Right away, you can feel the horror that the music bestows upon you as Carach Angren tell their tales of terror in a haunting fashion. The third song performed was one of their most popular tracks, When Crows Tick on Windows. Seregor does an amazing job at not only singing the songs, but playing out the lyrics as if watching the song come to life. The band as a whole had amazing stage presence as they would all make grotesque faces to match the music and would regularly interact with the audience. Carach Angren played songs from all their albums which was nice to hear some classics as well as some performed for the first time. Some of those songs included The Carriage Wheel MurderIn de Naam Van de Duivel (Dutch for “In the Name of the Devil”), Sir John, and The Sighting is a Portent of Doom. One of the highlights of the show was the beginning of the song Blood Queen. Seregor went over to the mannequin with the words “Jane Doe” cut into her flesh, took a knife out, and proceeded to slice her throat with blood coming out of the wound. Seregor then gorged himself on the blood from the neck of Jane Doe down to her vagina. It made Blood Queen that much more interesting to see performed live. Another highlight of the show was when Carach Angren finally performed the fan-favorite The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist. It is one of the band’s most beautiful songs. Aside from the catchy song, it contains a beautiful piano/keyboard solo by Ardek that is worth rewinding just to listen to it over and over again. Carach Angren finished the show and left the stage. The fans stayed and cheered for Carach Angren to come back out. Not too long later, the band came back out to perform another favorite, Bitte Tötet Mich (German for “Please Kill Me”). The finale for the show was the band’s usual ending song of Bloodstain on the Captain’s Log. Seeing Carach Angren live is an experience that should be seen by metalheads. Not only are they an experience, but they are Pitch Black Horror goodness.

 

Tribulation: The Lodge Room – Los Angeles, Ca – 10/2/18

Tribulation is a metal band from Sweden. Their sound has varied depending on the album you’re listening to.  The first two albums are more traditional death metal while their later two albums change it up to black metal and gothic rock while still maintaining a death metal sound. Tribulation released their fourth album Down Below on January 28, 2018 to positive reviews from both critics and fans alike. Tribulation finally announced a USA tour in support of their new album and fans were ecstatic to have them return since they were last here in 2016. The last time they were here, Tribulation sold out the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles. It was only fitting that they now play a larger venue. This time, Tribulation lured their fans to the Lodge Room in Highland Park. Even on a Tuesday night, fans packed the venue in anticipation for this haunting show.

As Tribulation prepared to start the show, the stage was covered with fog from fog machines giving the stage and eerie feeling as if walking through a cemetery on a foggy night. The lights went out and fans cheered as the members of Tribulation made their way to the stage in full makeup and attire looking like corpses that had risen from their graves. The first song of choice was Lady Death from the new album. The song has a vibe that makes you wanna dance a dance of death, yet still maintained a classic death metal sound. The vocals from Johannes Andersson are a thing of haunting beauty. The second song performed was Melancholia from their previous album, The Children of the Night. One of the highlights of the band’s performance is watching guitarist Jonathan Hultén dance and prance around on stage looking like an undead ballerina. He’s always a sight to behold never missing a note while mesmerizing the audience. Other songs from the band’s macabre setlist included The Lament, Cries From the Underworld, and The World. In the middle of the show, guitarists Hultén and Adam Zaars took turns performing guitar solos to wow the audience and were often covered with fog for a more grim appearance. Nearing the end of the show, Tribulation kept to the new album and performed the gloomy and catchy Nightbound. The show had come to an end and Tribulation left the stage. The fans weren’t ready to go home just yet and chanted the band’s name. Tribulation listened and came back out for some encores. The first encore was Strange Gateways Beckon. Tribulation kept the energy up and never had a dull moment in their performance. It was time for the show to come to an end and to end it, Tribulation played Lacrimosa. The fans let out whatever remaining energy they had left. Tribulation wrapped up their show, bowed to the fans, then left the stage for the final time. Tribulation is a band enjoyed by both death metal and black metal fans and hopefully they come back soon for another living dead performance.

 

Angra: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca – 10/1/18

Angra is a power metal band from Brazil. With nine albums out and 25 years of existing, Angra announced their first ever full-on North American headlining tour. Throughout their career, Angra has had hiatuses and multiple lineup changes. One recently was when guitarist Kiko Loureiro joined thrash metal legends, Megadeth. Aside from this tour, Angra has only played selected shows here in the US and now fans can finally enjoy one of power metal’s most legendary acts. On February 16, 2018, Angra released their ninth studio album, Ømni (Latin for “Everything”). One of the stops on the tour was the world-famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California.

Angra came out and started the show with Newborn Me and were greeted with cheers from their Hollywood fans. Angra quickly proved that they are one of the best power metal bands in the world as both guitarists shred away with speed and precision giving power metal it’s classic Helloween/Iron Maiden sound. On vocals currently is none other than Italian singer Fabio Lione who is most famously known for being the singer for Italian power metal band Rhapsody of Fire for 21 years. The second song performed was a song from the new album, Travelers of Time. For the third song, Angra went back to their classic albums and played one of the most popular songs Angels and Demons from their 2004 album, Temple of Shadows. Fans cheered for this classic and happily sang along to the song’s catchy chorus. Angra played a solid mix of classic and new material which included Black Widow’s Web, Nothing to Say, Upper Levels and Spread Your Fire. One of the tracks performed was The Bottom of My Soul and it features guitarist Rafael Bittencourt on vocals as well as guitars. Bittencourt is the only sole original member of the band as well as one of the founding members. The final song of the night was Magic Mirror and soon after, Angra left the stage. Fans weren’t ready to go home just yet even though it was 12:30am on a Monday night. Bittencourt came back out to the stage for a speech and thanked the audience for coming out as well as talk about how proud he is of the band and thanked all the previous band members for all of their work. The rest of Angra would come out to perform two encores. The first encore was Rebirth from their 2001 album of the same name. To end the night, Angra performed Nova Era from the same album. Fans cheered as Angra wrapped up their show and lots of smiles could be seen as they were happy to finally see them. Hopefully it’s not another long wait before Angra returns to the states.

 

Deep Purple/Judas Priest: FivePoint Amphitheatre – Irvine, Ca – 9/27/18

When two of the biggest rock and metal icons join forces for a tour, you know you’re in for one of the biggest and best experiences of your life. Rock icons and heavy metal pioneers Deep Purple and heavy metal gods Judas Priest joined forces for one of the biggest tours of the year. Deep Purple is still on tour for their farewell tour that they’re calling The Long Goodbye Tour. Judas Priest is currently on tour in support of their eighteenth studio album Firepower which was released on March 9, 2018. The FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California was the venue of choice which was perfect for this tour. Starting up the show was Judas Priest and as always, they put on one of the best performances from any metal bands. The venue was super packed by the time the metal gods came on stage.

Judas Priest came out and started the show with the first track from the new album, Firepower. With a classic heavy metal sound, Judas Priest exploded onto the stage and made their presence known as one of the best metal bands of all time.  Metal God Rob Halford still sings like a god and seems to only get better with age. Guitarist Richie Faulkner has been the replacement for longtime guitarist K.K. Downing since he left the band in 2011. Longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton was forced to retire from touring in February 2018 due to a severe case of Parkinson’s Disease. In Tipton’s place is guitarist/record producer Andy Sneap. Regardless of band members, Judas Priest still sounds great. The next song performed was the classic Delivering the Goods from their 1978 album, Killing Machine/Hell Bent For Leather. The third song performed was another classic Sinner from their third album, Sin After Sin. With a new album out, Judas Priest of course had to play some new tunes. Those new songs were Lightning Strike, No Surrender and Rising From Ruins. With the new songs out of the way, Judas Priest focused on their classic material. The familiar sound of guitar synthesizers blared over the speakers as fans cheered knowing what was coming. The song Turbo Lover started which is one of their most popular songs. With a super catchy chorus, Halford put the mic out to the crowd so they could sing the chorus. You Got Another Thing Comin’ is without a doubt one of the most popular metal songs of all time so when Judas Priest started to play it, the whole venue cheered and sang along. Halford went to the back of the venue and seemed to disappear. The familiar sound of motorcycle engines revving filled the venue and fans once again cheered as they knew what song was next. Halford came back out riding his motorcycle as the rest of the band started playing Hell Bent For Leather. The band minus drummer Scott Travis left the stage leaving him to do a drum solo. After he finished, he asked the audience what they wanted to hear. The crowd yelled, “Painkiller!”. He gladly obliged and started the drum solo to Painkiller as the rest of the band came out to join in and play one of their best songs with fast guitars, pulverizing drums and Halford’s godly high-pitch yells. The show seemed to come to an end as the band left the stage. After a little while, the intro of The Hellion started as the band came back out and started the first encore which was Electric Eye. As soon as the song ended, Judas Priest jumped into playing one of the greatest metal songs of all time, Breaking the Law. Most, if not all metalheads know this song and is usually one of the first Judas Priest songs that fans hear when first introduced to them. Halford would allow fans to sing the chorus of, “Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law!”. It was time for Judas Priest to finish up their performance and to end the night, they performed Living After Midnight. Once Again, Halford let the audience sing the chorus which the audience sang perfectly. Judas Priest finished their performance, bowed to the audience, and left the stage for the headlining band of the night.

 

When people talk about some of the most iconic and influential rock bands, Deep Purple is often one of the first bands brought up. With all the bands they have influenced, Deep Purple has earned their reputation as one of the all time great bands that everyone needs to listen to. The lights went out once again as the members of Deep Purple came out and started with one of their most popular songs, Highway Star. Deep Purple still has the energy to put on an entertaining show and still prove why they’re one of the greatest bands of all time. The second song performed was Pictures of Home followed by Bloodsucker. Deep Purple had an impressive stage setup with a back screen showing old photos of the band from throughout their career as well as an impressive light setup that beautifully illuminated the stage. Deep Purple went on to play many of their classic such as Strange Kind of Woman, Lazy and Knocking at Your Back Door. Deep Purple took a quick break while keyboardist Don Airey performed a nice keyboard solo to wow the audience. Deep Purple would come back out to perform another one of their popular hits, Perfect Strangers. Iconic frontman Ian Gillan spoke to the audience about the history of the band and his involvement and different experiences over the years. To introduce the next song, Gillan said it was time go…Space Truckin’. People were seen dancing and singing along to this Deep Purple classic. Now at the end of the show, Deep Purple played their most famous song and one of the best-known songs of all time, Smoke on the Water. This song is one of the holy grail of rock music. It has the most familiar guitar riffs that unmistakable as soon as you hear it and is a riff that surely most guitar players learn to play. During the song, the back screen would show photos of the Montreux Casino in Switzerland that burned down in 1971 and inspired the title of the song. Deep Purple finished the song and left the stage. Fans weren’t ready to go just yet and stayed a while longer. Eventually, Gillan came out once again and thanked the audience for coming out and for all the support over the years. For the encore, Deep Purple played their popular Joe South cover of Hush. Once again, the fans danced and sang along for the show’s grans finale. Deep Purple bowed to the audience and left the stage once again. Judas Priest and Deep Purple are two legendary acts whose music will for sure stand the test of time and will continue to influence many future bands even after they’ve both retired. Rock and metal will never die.

 

Judas Priest

 

Deep Purple

Wintersun: 9/23/18

Wintersun is a melodic death metal band from Finland. In 2017 they released their third album, The Forest Seasons. This was the first album since the release of their second album Time 1 in 2012. The album consists of only four songs, one per season. Though only four songs, the songs themselves are lengthy at 12-15 minutes each and take you on a journey through each season. After five long years, Wintersun made their return to the USA. One of the stops on the tour was the beautiful Mayan Theater in Los Angeles, California. Even before doors opened, fans were lined up outside waiting to see one of Finland’s  finest bands.

The lights went out and the packed venue went into a frenzy. The members of Wintersun came out and started playing the first track from the newest album, Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring). Frontman Jari Mäenpää was the last to come out just in time to start singing the vocals to the song. Mäenpää has a truly stunning voice as he sang with growls matching the album perfectly. If you can get used to the long songs, the music itself is some of the most beautiful melodic death metal you will ever hear making you feel both majestic and as if you are floating in space. After almost fifteen minutes, the first song came to an end as Mäenpää sang the final lyric, “Die and be born agaaaain!” which had fans singing along. For the second song, Wintersun went back to their 2004 self-titled album and performed Winter Madness, one of their more popular tracks which was well received by fans. Two more songs from the debut album would be performed which were Sleeping Stars and Starchild. Back to performing songs from the newest album, Wintersun next played Loneliness (Winter) which is one of the most beautiful songs that Wintersun plays. The moshing stopped and everyone’s eyes were on stage as Wintersun played this emotional song. Wintersun finally next played a song from their Time 1 album which was the first track Sons of Winter and Stars and it had people singing along to the catchy chorus. Back to the newest album, Wintersun next played The Forest That Weeps (Summer) and is perhaps the best song on the album. Normally the chorus has a choir featuring singers from other Finnish metal bands, but for this tour, all the members of the band would perform the choir chorus and it still sounded beautiful just as it does on the album. Wintersun surprised the audience by performing a brand new song titled Storm. As to whether this song will be in the next album or an EP of some sort remains to be seen. Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end. For the end, Wintersun played Battle Against Time then left the stage. Fans weren’t ready to go home just yet and stayed chanting the band’s name. After a brief break, Wintersun came back out for one last song. The encore would be one of the band’s best songs, Time. A perfect fitting for the show’s end with it’s catchy and emotional chorus. The show had come to an end and Wintersun shook hands with fans and signed fans’ items. Hopefully it’s not another five years before Wintersun returns.

 

September Mourning: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca – 9/16/18

We’re No Gentlemen is an alternative rock band from Long Beach, California. They were one of the few bands that were the opening act for the headliner, September Mourning. They have been aggressively hitting the LA music scene and even earned themselves a spot on the Las Vegas stop of the Vans Warped Tour in 2017. They proved to be a highly energetic band as they started with Disguise. Vocalist Amanda Gabel has a very energetic stage presence as she regularly went out to interact with the audience. Their set was filled with songs to make you rock out which included Mirror Mirror, Home and Night. The band has only released two EP’s so far with the second one titled This Is Home and is set to release on October 5th. To give their audience a taste of it, they played Promises from the upcoming EP which they have also released a music video for. We’re No Gentlemen is slowly, but surely climbing the ladder to make themselves one of the most promising rock bands coming out of Southern California.

 

Headlining the show was the hard rock band September Mourning and they were here to collect the souls of Los Angeles fans who the band refers to as their Children of Fate. The band came to be originally from a graphic novel depicting the character of September Mourning played by singer Emily Lazar as a human-reaper hybrid, who feels the need to give some human souls a second chance, and thus toys with Fate. To get the full experience of the band one must not only submerge themselves in the music, but the graphic novels as well. The stage was set up with a back screen which showed the beginning of the graphic novel as an animated short. September came to the stage as she entered the human realm with her reapers. September Mourning Started the show with Angels to Dust, the first song from their newest album titled Volume II. Right away, you get a taste of the band’s vibe from their music as they combine gothic imagery with hard rock music. In between songs, September Mourning would step aside so the back screen could show the next chapter of the graphic novel. September Mourning would come back out and continue to mesmerize the fans by playing tracks like Eye of the Storm, Children of Fate, and Skin and Bones. September had a great stage presence as she gracefully made use of the whole stage and flipped her hair with every opportunity that let her shine. The show came to an end with one of the band’s catchiest and best songs 20 Below which also has a music video out. September Mourning is a great experience to witness live, especially if you love a theatrical band.

 

September Mourning

 

We’re No Gentlemen

Childish Gambino @ Wells Fargo Center – Philly 09/18/2018

Childish Gambino – September 18th 2018

Wells Fargo Center – Philly

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

Back in 2012 when a little known actor/comedian named Donald Glover started ripping up stages rapping under the moniker of Childish Gambino, we here at Concert Confessions were the ones bringing you the goods from all over the country. We have the receipts. Fast forward to 2018 and Childish Gambino is literally the biggest thing in the world right now. He’s stated that this tour, the This Is America tour, would be his final tour ever. So of course we had to get ourselves into the Wells Fargo Center in Philly. 

Childish Gambino hit the stage right before 9PM to a roar that almost knocked the retired jerseys out of the rafters. With a long runway stage and a laser light show that had me thinking Chris Kuroda was backstage, Gambino played over an hour of his Awaken My Love-Esque tracks that are hits with all the cool kids that brought him to the top of this mountain. It was indeed, as he phrased it, it was “church” in that building. 

Highlights include the ‘This Is America’ Pre encore along with ‘3005’ and ‘Sweatpants’. The full set list is below. For those who enjoy the rap stylings of Childish Gambino. For those who love the sick rhyme flow and punchline cadence, you should have went and seen him in 2012. This was not that. Not even for a second. Some people may have been hoping for at least a second. Maybe Bonfire. Maybe Freeks and Geeks. Maybe ONE RAP SONG. But hey, the writer of this doesn’t not make music and is not an artist, so therefore my opinion is just that. An opinion.

 

Intro ,(Unknown song) ,Algorythm , I. The Worst Guys , II. Worldstar , Late Night in Kauai , Stand Tall (First half), Boogieman
(“Me and Your Mama intro” / “Unnecessary” lyrics), Have Some Love, Riot, Terrified, Feels Like Summer, Spirits, This Is America…. Encore: Sober, V. 3005, IV. Sweatpants, Redbone

Tarja: El Rey – Los Angeles, Ca 9/14/18

Finnish singer Tarja Turunen is most famously known for fronting Finnish symphonic metal legends Nightwish from 1996 until her dismissal in 2005. In 2006, she started her solo career and since then has released seven studio albums (four rock, two Christmas, one classical). In 2016, she released her sixth studio album The Shadow Self and has been actively touring for the album. Since her departure from Nightwish, Tarja has not preformed in the USA until this year when she announced four exclusive shows promoting her latest live album titled Act II so the tour was called Act II Release Shows. The final stop on the tour was the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles so fans of hers and Nightwish were finally able to see her in all her glory. Even before doors opened, a line had formed outside the venue in anticipation after waiting for many years.

The lights went out and fans cheered and yelled out Tarja’s name as her band member’s came out. Tarja was the last to come out as the band started the show with No Bitter End from the latest album. Tarja’s voice only seems to get better with age as she graciously performed her operatic vocals to perfection as heard on the album. Fans were ecstatic to finally get their chance to see Tarja perform in person. The second song performed was 500 Letters followed by Demons In You. Throughout the whole night, Tarja was full of energy and showed she was happy to be back in Los Angeles after a long time. After a few more songs, Tarja surprised fans by performing snippet covers of Nightwish songs which included Tutankhamen/Ever Dream/The Riddler/Slaying the Dreamer. To tone things down for a bit, the band sat down to perform an acoustic set which consisted of The Reign/Mystique Voyage/House of Wax/I Walk Alone. The show was coming close to an end as the band performed Undertaker, Love to Hate then finished up with Victim of Ritual. The band left the stage and fans didn’t seem to wanna leave as they cheered and chanted Tarja’s name. After a short break, the band came back out and performed some encores. The encores were Innocence and Die Alive before wrapping up the show with Until My Last Breath. Tarja put on a truly beautiful performance that should be witnessed by any and all fans of Nightwish. Hopefully it’s not a very long time before she comes back.

 

Helloween: Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, Ca 9/8/18

German power metal legends and creators Helloween set out on the Pumpkins United World Tour. This tour was a special occasion because it featured the return of co-founder and guitarist Kai Hansen who left the band in 1988 to form power metal band, Gamma Ray. The tour also features the return of the band’s best vocalist Michael Kiske who was fired from the band in 1993. With two of the band’s key members returning, fans of the band could finally see the pioneers of power metal as they were many years ago. Helloween has been fronted by Andi Deris since 1994. Instead of relieving him of his duties, Helloween kept him in the band and so now have two vocalists sharing duties for certain or singing their perspective songs from their perspective albums. The second stop of the tour was the Hollywood Palladium and even well before doors open, fans were lined up going around the venue in anticipation for the show. A tour like this is so special, that no opening act was needed and so Helloween would have the stage to themselves and would play for 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The lights went out and fans cheered and chanted the band’s name as the back screen lit up showing clips as the band members made their way to the stage. Helloween started their show with Halloween, a 13-minute monster of an opening song to get the crowd going with this classic. Having Hansen back in the back felt right and natural as a band live should feel. The music sounds perfect as it does on the album even 31 years later. The second preformed was another one of the band’s biggest hits Dr. Stein and the chorus allows the fans to sing along whenever Kiske signaled them too. The third song performed was I’m Alive, the opening track to their classic 1987  album Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part 1 which is no doubt one of the greatest metal albums of all time. Kiske’s high-pitch vocals and the guitar solo to the song is what helped spark the sound to European-style power metal. Once the song was over, the band took a quick break while the stage screen showed caricatures of pumpkin humanoids messing around with instruments and rock star outfits. These short movies would appear after every couple of songs to entertain the crowd. After a couple of more songs, Helloween returned to their roots from their debut album Walls of Jericho when Hansen handled both guitars and vocals. Hansen performed a medley of songs from the album which were Starlight, Ride the Sky and Judas. The only full song he performed was Heavy Metal (Is the Law). Kiske came back out to join the band to perform the beautiful ballad A Tale That Wasn’t Right. Kiske announced that this is the second time since 1987 that he has performed the song. It was beautifully performed and the crowd could be seen singing along soaking in the beautiful music. Deris came back out to join the band for a duet of Pumpkins United, a brand new song from Helloween which features Kiske, Hansen, and Deris sharing lead vocals. The band went off stage leaving drummer Daniel Löble on his drum kit as he performed a drum solo. A little after, the back screen showed a VHS tape going into a VCR showing an old drum solo from the band’s original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg who died in 1995. It was a tribute that Helloween gave to their fallen brother. Löble came back out to perform a drum duet with Schwichtenberg which made the tribute perfect as fans cheered and called out Schwichtenberg’s name. Helloween continued the show and played many more classic like A Little Time, Sole Survivor, and How Many Tears. The show seemed to come to an end, but fans weren’t ready to go home as the chanted the band’s name. Helloween came back out to perform some of their best songs. The first encore was the fan-favorite Eagle Fly Free followed by the 13-minute epic track, Keeper of the Seven Keys. Helloween left the stage again, but once again fans stayed and chanted the band’s name. The back screen lit up once again to show the conclusion to the short movies involving the pumpkin humanoids and soon after, Helloween came back out for two more encores. The next encore was Future World, another one of their best songs and got the crowd singing along with its catchy chorus and guitar solos. The final song of the night was the band’s most famous song I Want Out and Helloween made the song extra fun by tossing out balloons with pumpkins on them and were tossed around like beach balls. Fans were moshing, crowd surfing, and singing along to the super catchy finale. The show came to a grand ending and had fans cheering and smiling as Helloween bowed to the audience and left the stage for the final time.

 

Napalm Death: Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, Ca 8/28/18

  

 

The sold out Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles was set for a night of amazing metal bands. On this Tuesday night, metalheads were blessed by Thrown Into Exile, Crematorium, Cattle Decapitation, and British grindcore legends Napalm Death. Los Angeles was not ready for this sh0w and the bands performing were more than ready to shred the night away as metalheads filled the venue ready for a good night.

Up first was Los Angeles local band Thrown Into Exile. Having been around since 2011, they have been slowly but surely rising to the top and opening for some big name metal bands whenever they come to town. Thrown Into Exile is the band you listen to when you’re looking for a fresh metalcore sound with harsh vocals and shredding guitar solos. They always get the crowd going wild with an energetic stage presence as they pummeled through tracks such as Idol of One and The Wronged. Thrown Into Exile is cooking up their sophomore album which is due for a release soon. To give the audience a taste, they played a new song titled Death’s Reprise. The band’s sound seems to improve and mature as the band grows. Their second album will surely be worth a listen once it comes out. With a short set, Thrown Into Exile finished up their set with Declination from their only album out, Safe Inside. Thrown Into Exile got the audience warmed for the rest of the bands.

Cattle Decapitation are an extreme metal band from San Diego, California. Despite their name, Cattle Decapitation‘s songs deal with the mistreatment and consumption of animals, the abuse of the environment and the misanthropy and genocide of the human race. Lots of fans were there specifically for them as they could be seen shouting out the band’s name before they came on as well as wearing the band’s merch. Cattle Decapitation came out and started the show with The Carbon Stampede. Right away, you’ll hear the brutality and speed of the band’s music and always gets the crowd going with mosh pits. The next song was Dead Set on Suicide. Both songs are from the band’s 2012 album, Monolith of Inhumanity. Songs like this display guitarist Josh Elmore’s guitar playing as his hand moves up and down on the neck of his guitar in inhuman speed and is mesmerizing to watch. Vocalist Travis Ryan filled the venue with his deep guttural vocals that, in a strange way, are pleasant to listen to. Cattle Decapitation always puts on a great show and never have a quiet moment when they perform blistering tracks like The Prophets of Loss, Clandestine Ways (Krokodil Rot), and the fan-favorite Forced Gender Reassignment. They currently have a new album in the works which will be released sometime next year which leaves fans something to look forward to. Cattle Decapitation ended their show with Pacific Grim from their latest album The Anthropocene Extinction then left the stage leaving the fans hungry for more as the headlining band was set to go on.

Napalm Death are grindcore legends from Britain. They have been active since 1981 and their debut album Scum was released in 1987. Since the album’s release, none of the original members are part of the band. The current lineup has been the band’s staple since 1992, with the exception of guitarist Mitch Harris who has been on a hiatus from the band since 2014 due to illness within his family. Napalm Death‘s music is notorious for short songs often spanning 30 seconds to two minutes, though from their newer albums, they have reverted to normal-length songs for the most part. In 2015, they released their newest album Apex Predator – Easy Meat to positive reviews and will be working on the next album in the near future. By the time Napalm Death was ready to hit the stage, the venue was packed to max capacity with fans screaming out the band’s name as they eagerly awaited for the show to start. Napalm Death finally came out and started with the first two tracks from their debut album titled Multinational Corporations and Instinct of Survival. Napalm Death really got the crowd going. For the most part, the crowd had remained calm with mosh pits that were barely felt up front. Once Napalm Death started, things really hit the fan. Shoving started and fans rushed the stage and in no time, stage divers started to make an appearance and were constant for the whole performance. Vocalist Barney Greenway unleashed his incomprehensible guttural vocals and shrieks onto the audience that has made him famous and is the band’s signature sound. During the performance of The Wolf I Feed, a fan got on stage and in the process, knocked over the mic from guitarist John Cooke and hit him in the mouth. Cooke was so upset by it that he shoved the fan making him land on top of fans behind him. After the song was over, Greenway let the audience know that Cooke was hit in the mouth by the microphone and in the process, it chipped one of his teeth. Bassist Shane Embury had to tell the audience to stage dive away from the band’s equipment. The fans stayed wild the whole time as Napalm Death rampaged through classic like Practice What You Preach, On the Brink of Extinction, and their most famous song, Scum. One of the fun parts of the show is when Napalm Death plays their shortest song called, You Suffer. The song You Suffer is in the Guinness World Records as the shortest song in the world, at only 1.316 seconds long. Suffer the Children is one of the band’s most popular songs and is a subject of anti-religion when religion is forced on children which the band is against. Nearing the end of their set, Napalm Death played a Dead Kennedys cover of Nazi Punks Fuck Off which always drives the mosh pits wilder and stage divers were everywhere. The show came to an end as Napalm Death played the last two songs back to back which were Cesspits and Inside the Torn Apart. Napalm Death left the stage and the audience themselves were tired and sweaty from all the chaos that happened.

 

Napalm Death

 

Cattle Decapitation

 

Thrown Into Exile

Armored Saint: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 8/17/18

Heavy metal leaders Armored Saint went out on tour to perform their critically acclaimed fourth studio album Symbol of Salvation in its entirety. The band was originally formed in 1982 in Los Angeles by brothers Phil (lead guitar) and Gonzo (drums) Sandoval. The second to last stop on the tour was the Parish Room at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. The show sold out way ahead of time so for sure it was set to be a night filled with heavy metal manics. The opening act for the tour are Act of Defiance and they made for a great opening act to get the crowd warmed up.

Act of Defiance are a heavy/thrash metal band from Los Angeles, Ca. The band features lead guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover; both who are former members  of thrash metal legends, Megadeth. They released their newest album Old Scars, New Wounds in 2017. Act of Defiance came out to an already packed venue and started the show with M.I.A. and got the crowd going wild. Broderick displayed his fast guitar playing as he shred through the songs and vocalist Henry Derek growled through the set with ease. Other songs in their set included Legion of Lies, Poison Dream and The Talisman. Act of Defiance made for a great opening act for the tour and were most definitely enjoyed by the audience.

Armored Saint was the headliner of the night and by the time they were getting ready to come out, the venue was packed to max capacity filled with heavy metal maniacs. The lights went out and the sold out venue cheered as the members of Armored Saint made their way to the stage and started the show with their most famous song, March of the Saint off their debut album of the same name. The crowd went wild with heads banging and horns being raised. Vocalist John Bush delivered some fine heavy metal vocals and let the crowd sing with him as he sang the chorus, “It’s the March of the Saaaint! March of the Saint!”. The next two songs were Long Before I Die and Chemical Euphoria. After these songs, Bush announced the start of the Symbol of Salvation album and naturally, the crowd cheered. The album starts with Reign of Fire, one of Armored Saint‘s live staple hits and plenty of fans could be seen singing along. Other live staple hits from the album included Last Train Home, Tribal Dance, and Symbol of Salvation. Halfway through the album, Bush spoke to the audience about Armored Saint‘s sixth member Dave Prichard who passed away in 1990. Prichard may not be in the band physically, but he will always be with them in spirit. Armored Saint played Another Day in his honor and the energy of the song was felt throughout the whole venue. The album came to a finale with Spineless. Bush announced how instead of walking backstage and pretending to end the show then come back out for encores, that the band would stay right there and perform their encores right then and there. The first encore was Pay Dirt followed by Left Hook From Right Field. After a night of classic heavy metal, it was time to say goodbye. To end the night, Armored Saint played Can U Deliver which is the band’s usual closing song and another one of their biggest hits. The show came to a close and the band members came out to the audience to greet fans and thank everyone for coming out to celebrate heavy metal.

 

Act of Defiance

 

Armored Saint

Ghoul: Velvet Jones – Santa Barbara, CA – 8/12/18

  

The masked hooligans from Creepsylvania Ghoul made a stop on their Weapons of Mosh Destruction tour at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara, California. A small, but intimate setting where chances are, the venue had no idea what it was in for. Ghoul is still touring in support of their newest album, Dungeon Bastards. If you’ve never experienced Ghoul live, you are in for a real gross treat.

Two politicians came out on stage and started talking to the audience before unveiling the Necronomicon book. The members of Ghoul made their way to the stage with axes and hacked away at the politicians. The result? the main attraction at a Ghoul concert.

Ghoul started the show with Ghoulunatics as the politicians started spraying blood (red dye) at the audience. The audience went wild as they willingly let themselves get sprayed as part of the fun at a Ghoul concert. Thrash metal plus blood being sprayed everywhere is the perfect combo. Ghoul continued the madness with Ghetto Blasters/Bringer of War and kept the energy going as the fans kept the mosh pits alive. Ghoul would bring out more of their ridiculous characters that would always end up  with more blood being sprayed at the audience. Ghoul played more tunes from their newest album which included Shred the Dead, Dungeon Bastards, and Word Is Law. Other classics included Splatterthrash, Rot Gut, and Spill Your Guts where bassist Cremator ripped the head off a baby doll and squirted blood from the lifeless body onto the audience.

In between songs, Ghoul would tell short stories as if they were in a play that would always leave the audience laughing and would lead to the next song. One of the more fun songs played was Abominox and of course Ghoul brought out the gross mutant monster known to the universe as Abominox as it almost successfully devoured the band members. Guitarmageddon was the perfect finish to the show and Ghoul left the stage for the audience to fend for themselves. After a few minutes, the band made their way back to the stage and let the fans know that this is the part of the show where they go home. The fans refused to do so and to reward their dedication, Ghoul played a couple of encores. The first encore was Metallicus Ex Mortis.

The grand finale of the night was Gutbucket Blues and it featured an ape-like creature with dangling testicles throwing chunks of blood and flesh from a bucket labeled as “Whale Cum” at the audience and eventually led to the whole bucket being flung at the audience. Ghoul finished the show once again and left. What was left of the venue? Mass blood and chunks everywhere and everyone up front looking like they were just put through a meat grinder. If you’ve never seen the live macabre that is Ghoul, they are for sure not to be missed next time they grind their way to your city.

Hail Creepsylvania!

 

Twins Of Evil: Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson @ BB&T Pavilion 8/9/18

 

Twins Of Evil Tour: Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson – BB&T Pavilion

Camden, NJ – August 9th 2018

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks 

 

 

The Twins of Evil tour is coming to a town near you and you should most certainly go see it if you have the opportunity. That’s what we did on Thursday as we trekked out to Camden and the BB&T Pavilion in the slums of The Dirty Jerz. I saw Manson for the first and only time three years ago with the Smashing Pumpkins yet I have never seen Rob Zombie. Flip those scenarios for the case of my girlfriend, we’re both getting some new flavor tonight. I mean, I’ve never seen Rob Zombie before but I have met the girl that played bass/co-founded White Zombie,  Sean Yseult backstage at a Meat Puppets show one time and I couldn’t get words out. That’s not a name drop as much as it’s another opportunity to plug a link in to kick you back for more Concert Confessions. Hashtag Content. Anyhow, we’re on the lawn tonight and there was a very rapey security guard who gave me the hardest search ever, but the latter is a story for my podcast. You ready to rock and roll?

Marilyn Manson came out at 8:08 and it’s always weird when an act like Manson hits the stage before the sun goes down. This is the best dressed crowd I’ve ever seen. Faces painted everywhere, dudes wearing house dresses, the obligatory black leather everywhere.

It even looked like some homeless people got in, but those might be folks left over from the Phish concert that was here last night.

 Manson didn’t look like he was totally enthused with being here tonight, or maybe that’s just how he normally behaves. Didn’t take away from him putting on an awesome set. He lit up a joint before The Dope Show. His fog machines (like in 2015) made pictures from the lawn with my 2012 camera almost impossible, but I snagged some video that’s not so bad. Manson went off at around 9:10pm.

Set List: The Reflecting God, Angel With The Scabbed Wings, This Is The New Shit, Disposable Teens, mOBSCENE, Say10, The Dope Show, Sweet Dream (Are Made Of These), Kill4Me, Antichrist Superstar, The Beautiful People.

First thing I thought when Rob Zombie hit the stage is “why is he dressed like the Macho Man Randy Savage?” The joking stopped there as they proceeded to, and let me find the scientific term for this, F#%KING SLAYED for every second of their set. We’re talking new stuff, old stuff, covers, even a freaking trailer for the new ‘3 From Hell’ film he’s putting out. There was a giant groovin’ robot. A giant Satan shuffling. Video screens everywhere. Light show = epic. Hate to say the  boring “wow this dude is a real rockstar” after leaving a rock concert comment, but man, this dude is a real rockstar!

 

Set List: Meet The Creeper, Superbeast, Well Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO, Living Dead Girl, In The Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High, Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown, More Human Than Human, Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy), The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore, House Of 1000 Corpses// John 5 guitar solo// Enter Sandman (a minute snippet of it), Thunder Kiss ’65 (With Sweet Dreams in the middle of it, assuming to attempt to summon Manson back on stage), Helter Skelter (w/ Marilyn Manson, who has made his was on stage now), “3 From Hell” Trailer, Dragula.

 

 

Foreigner/Whitesnake: FivePoint Amphitheater – Irvine, Ca 8/1/18

  

 

Classic rock band Foreigner announced the Juke Box Heroes tour to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary. They are one of the best-selling bands of all time with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records and 14 top 20 Billboard hot chart hits. Joining them on this historic tour are the British hard rock band Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. The last stop on the tour was the newly opened FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California. I missed Jason Bonham due to the usual nightmare that is Southern California traffic, but I made it in time for Whitesnake. The venue was already packed by them time Whitesnake was set to start the show.
Whitesnake came out and started the show with Bad Boys. Whitesnake received a positive response from the audience as most if not everyone present was familiar with their music. Fronting the band was David Coverdale who at one point was the singer for British rock legends, Deep Purple. The second song performed was Give Me All Your Love followed by Love Ain’t No Stranger. The band has great stage presence with not a dull moment in their performance. Even at 66 years old, Coverdale’s voice has not aged and he sounded amazing as he sang all the classics with precision. After a few more tracks, Whitesnake started to perform some of the their most famous songs that got the audience singing and dancing along. The first of the classics was Is This Love which reached number two on the US charts in 1987 making it their second-biggest hit in the US. The next classic is the band’s best-known song and one of the most well-known songs in the rock/metal community, Here I Go Again. The song reached number one on the US charts in 1987 and is often labeled as one of the greatest songs of the 80’s. Everyone was on their feet singing along and felt the good vibes throughout the venue. Ending their set was another one of the band’s most popular songs and their usual encore/ending song, Still of the Night. This song is widely considered one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time. Plenty of people were rocking out to this tune which included head banging and raising their horns. The show had to come to an end, but Whitesnake‘s career is still strong as they are set to release their thirteenth studio album in 2019 titled Flesh & Blood. Whitesnake thanked the audience for coming out and cleared the stage for the headlining band of the night.

  

 

Foreigner is hailed as one of the greatest bands of all time. Since their formation in 1976, only guitarist/songwriter Mick Jones is the band’s sole-remaining original member. He’s such a legendary songwriter that in 2013, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The lights went out and the packed venue erupted into a roar as the band members made their way to the stage one at a time and started the show with Long, Long Way from Home from their 1977 self-titled debut album. At first glance, you’ll notice that Mick Jones is missing on stage for whatever personal reasons. Still, the band got a loud welcome from the audience as smiles and singing were seen wherever you looked. The second song performed is one of the band’s most popular songs Double Vision from their second album of the same name. Foreigner always has great stage presence and is amazing live band to be witnessed by fans of all ages. Foreigner kept bringing out the classics as they played Head Games, Cold As Ice, and Waiting for a Girl Like You which is one of the band’s most successful songs reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard’s Rock Tracks. Foreigner took a quick break while singer Kelly Hansen introduced Mick Jones to the stage and had him start the very first song that the fans heard from their debut album, Feels Like the First Time. Urgent was next and is another one of the band’s most popular songs as well as one of the more fun songs performed live. Nothing gets the crowd excited quite like the signature sax solo from Thom Gimbel. Starrider is another single from the debut album and the song’s soothing tone was only matched at the end with fireworks raining down from the stage. Foreigner took a break on stage while drummer Chris Frazier performed a drum solo. Once his solo was over, he started performing the familiar bass drum intro to another one of Foreigner‘s most popular songs, Juke Box Hero. The song has over a million digital downloads and is certified platinum by the RIAA. The audience was surprised to see that Hansen was on top of a pedestal in the middle of the crowd singing the song. A lot of people were seen singing and dancing along to the song. Hansen went back to the stage and started talking to the audience about love and asked everyone to wrap their arms around the person next to them as they prepared to play their biggest hit and their only #1 song in the US and UK, I Want to Know What Love Is. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful songs ever written and hearing it live is one of the most beautiful things. Joining Foreigner on stage was the Rosewood Avenue Elementary School Choir as they sang the choir part towards the end of the song. It was time for the show to come to an end and so Foreigner played another one of their biggest hits Hot Blooded which the single has sold over one million units. To go with the song, Foreigner had fire coming out of the stage to go with the theme of the song which made it all the more exciting. Foreigner thanked the audience for coming out, bowed to the audience and left the stage as the audience cheered and thanked them for a truly spectacular performance by one of rock’s biggest bands.

 

Whitesnake

 

Foreigner

Weezer & The Pixies @ BB&T Pavilion 7/21/2018 Camden,NJ

Weezer & The Pixies – BB&T Pavilion

Camden, NJ – July 21st 2018

Words/Photos/Video – Jay Porks

The second it was announced that Weezer was hitting the road with the Pixies there wasn’t any doubt that it would be something featured here on Concert Confessions when it came around the way. Two of my favorites of all time if we’re speaking honestly here. Weezer is as hot as they’ve ever been and that was my opinion even before they covered Africa. The Pixies are not only one of the best bands of all time, but they’re also band that all of our favorite bands take influence from. Anyhow, it’s a Saturday night in Camden. The real slums of Dirty Jerzy. It’s raining pretty heavy at times, but we have seats. I’m old now. Not built for the lawn.

The Pixies kicked things off at 8PM. As we’re walking in Where Is My Mind is blaring through the parking lot. I set off the metal detector so that held us up a bit but we made it to our seats soon enough. A couple of observations: (a)The people here for the Pixies are INTO the Pixies. I thought I was a super fan, the whole place was rocking, it wasn’t like half empty waiting for Weezer. (b) Livenation had all sorts of deals in the days leading up to the show, which leads one to believe there’d been less tickers sold than desired. If that’s the case, then they succeeded, because I can’t say this place was “sold out” but it was packed to the gills with people that were PUMPED. (c) Does the high school basketball team always have to buy the seats in the sightline of my camera?

 

 

The Pixies busted out a twenty two songs in their allotted 67 Minute set, which if you would have told me that they would have done as an opening act I would have called you crazy. Maybe this really is a true ‘split bill’ or double headliner, if you will. They were off by 9:07. Set list below.

Setlist: Where Is My Mind, Nimrod’s Son, Mr. Grieves, All The Saints, Here Comes Your Man, Silver Snail, Vamos, Cactus, Break My Body, Gouge Away, Head Carrier, Caribou, Bel Esprit, Gigantic, Wave Of Mutilation, Um Chagga Lagga, Isla de Encanta, Crackity Jones, Broken Face, Monkey Gone To Heaven, Hey, Planet Of Sound

Weezer didn’t come out until 9:42 and when they did we saw why. The stage was set up to resemble the Happy Days set that they used for the Buddy Holly video. That’s was cool as heck. Later on in the set they took that stuff away to make way for the “In The Garage” set, which featured AC/DC and Kiss posters along the back drop.

A night of hits and fun covers. We got ourselves the Weezer take on Happy Together by the Turtles. Cool thing about that is that they played the guitars on the hook grungy and not, like, happy with bright lights and stuff. Then in the middle they tossed a verse from Green Day’s Longview in there, (the “mash up” I guess) which Rivers has been doing at solo acoustic shows recently. The Rivers put on a sailor hat and shirt and rode a razor scooter off stage only to appear in the middle of the crowd on what I assume was some sort of b-stage set up. From our vantage point you could barely see him, but it was cool none the less. That’s when Rivers solo covered ‘Take On Me’

There were two total metal head dudes in Metallica tee shirts and all that a couple rows up from us. I wondered aloud why they were here. Then during Feels Like Summer, which is still hot a year later, pyro starts flying off behind the band. That’s why they’re here. Weezer is for everybody.

Sporting a Nirvana tee shirt with cut off sleeves for the duration of the show, Weezer played Africa before ducking off stage for the encore of Surf Wax America, Say It Ain’t So and at the very end finished us off with a tiny dose of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.  They went off at 11 sharp, giving their 20 song set a duration of 78 minutes. What a blast. Full set list and some addition pictures below.

Set List: Buddy Holly, Beverly Hills, Pork and Beans, Undone – The Sweater Song, Hash Pipe, Perfect Situation, My Name Is Jonas, El Scorcho, In The Garage, The Good Life, Happy Together/Longview(The Turtles/Green Day), Keep Fishin’, Island In The Sun, Take On Me(a-ha), Burndt Jamb, (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To, Feels Like Summer, Africa (Toto)

Encore: Surf Wax America, Say It Ain’t So.

The Black Dahlia Murder: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 7/6/18

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse is a death metal band from Italy. In 2016, they released their fourth album King. On October 2017, their fan base was shocked when the band’s longtime singer/guitarist Tommaso Ricardi exited the band. As a replacement, the band’s drummer Francesco Paoli will return to being the guitarist/vocalist for the band as he was for the band’s early days and first album. Taking over drums for this tour will be David Folchitto from the extrem metal band Stormlord. This would be the band’s first US tour with the current lineup. The lights went out and the violin outro to The Deceit filled the sold out venue. Fleshgod Apocalypse came out and started the show with The Violation and immediately sent the crowd-filled floor into a frenzy with moshing and crowd surfing. Fleshgod Apocalypse seems to only get better with time and their music will make any person headbang and throw their metal horns in the air. Their music was backed up by the haunting operatic voice of Veronica Bordacchini. Paoli’s voice is a force to be reckoned with as he unleashed hell on the sold out crowd. Their setlist consisted of some of their best songs including Healing Through War, The Fool, and The Egoism. The whole band was very energetic with not a single dull moment in their performance. Being one of the opening bands, they had a short set and the final song of the night was their most popular song, The Forsaking. Upon finishing their set, they got a huge standing ovation from the Orange County crowd with fans praising their performance and commenting how amazing they were as it was most likely their first time seeing and hearing the band.

 

The headlining band for the tour was The Black Dahlia Murder. In 2017, they released their eighth album Nightbringers. The album became the best-selling direct-to-consumer in Metal Blade Records’ history. To celebrate the occasion, The Black Dahlia Murder would perform the album in its entirety on their current tour. The sold out House of Blues was packed to capacity on this hot day and the crowd was more than ready to continue to show their support for one of America’s most popular bands. The lights went out and the fans screamed at the top of their lungs as the members came out and started the show with the first track from the Nightbringers album, Widowmaker. Vocalist Trevor Strnad was the last to come out and once he started the singing, the mosh pits went wild once again with even crowd servers being plentiful during the whole show. The second song was Of God and Serpent, Of Spectre and Snake and it drove the audience just as wild. The Black Dahlia Murder is known to have wild shows and this show was no exception. Strnad’s wicked vocals always drives the audience wild and goes perfectly with the fast guitar work. The album continued with Jars and Kings of the Underworld. The Black Dahlia Murder took a quick break from the album to surprise the audience by playing their most popular hit, What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse. The song got its name from a quote from the 1988 video game Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. The Nightbringers album continued with Catacomb Hecatomb and eventually finished with The Lonely Deceased. Strnad announced that that was the whole Nightbringers album, but they weren’t finished with the show. The show continued with Everything Went Black and the fans continued to make the band proud by giving it their all in the mosh pit despite how hot and sweaty they were. The grand finale of the show was Deathmask Divine and the crowd went totally berserk. The show came to an end and nothing but smiles were seen among the audience as going to a metal show was the perfect way to spend a Friday night.

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse

 

 

The Black Dahlia Murder

 

Third Eye Blind @ The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Atlantic City) 7/5/2018

Third Eye Blind – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Atlantic City, NJ – July 5th 2018

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

There’s a new(ly branded) hotel in Atlantic City that was literally made for nights like these. It’s the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the slotty slums of Dirty Jerz! We’re here for Third Eye Blind. They’re about to fly overseas to record a new record, but in the meantime they’re playing this pop up show in AC while they plug their new covers album “Thanks For Everything”, which features deep cuts from bands you’ve never heard of. I kid. There is a Queens of The Stone Age cover on there. Did I mention we’re in the 2nd row tonight? Yeah, it’s about to be a lituation up in here.

A camera man working the venue said the band was due on stage at 8:20. What kind of rock band hits the stage on time? So around 8:25 Third Eye Blind graces the stage to a resounding roar from the crowd. In all of the videos in this post it is highly suggested that you check out these dudes in the first row. First few minutes I was almost annoyed that they were being typical dude-bro-lads, drunkenly screaming and almost fist pumping.

As the show progressed, the first row got more and more rowdy. They’re not “dude-bro-lads”, they’re misfits who are ALL IN at this show. Every word, every strum of every bar was LIFE to these dudes. By the end of the night they had turned me. They made the night more fun. And the irony of me getting upset at someone for having their camera block the sight line of my camera was not lost upon this “concert archiver.”

Then, in a shocking turn of events, I abandoned my hard camera for my iPhone 7’s camera. I did this because I wasn’t in need of a serious zoom from our awesome seats, so the phone is lighter so I can kinda jive to the tunes and stuff and not have to hold my arm completely still and I can use that to bob and weave the flying fists in that rowdy roddy row.

Always a good time with the 3EB boys. The last couple times I’ve seen them at casinos with no opener and those shows have been such a blast. Also as an old person for a set to end at like 9:30 and be that rocking is exactly the happy medium I need right now in my life. Thanks to my lovely girlfriend for another awesome night of getting me to a show and getting you to read this. Full set list is below the encore.

Set List: Graduate, Faster, Wounded, Never Let You Go, Losing A Whole Year, 10 (Happy Diving cover), Motorcycle Drive By, Company Of Strangers, Jumper, Deep Inside Of You, Crystal Baller, Fuck Forever (Babyshambles cover), Dopamine, Semi-Charmed Life

Encore: How’s It Going To Be

Body Count (Ice-T) at the Marquee Theater (5/25/2018) Tempe, AZ

 

 

 

Fresh off the set of Law & Order: SVU, Ice-T made a fast getaway from the filming of next season’s popular crime drama, on which he has played Detective Sgt Fin Tutuola since 1999, and traded in his NY badge for his iconic black LA baseball cap and black work gloves. From PD to OG, Ice-T is many things…Predictable is not one of them, but being a grand showman certainly is.

Ice-T lit up the Marquee stage with long-time collaborator Ernie C. Together, in 1990, the two formed the controversial LA thrash metal band Body Count. While the band is most famous…or rather INfamous…for their controversial 1992 self-titled album release, Body Count has successfully produced five additional studio albums:  Born Dead (1994), Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997), Murder 4 Hire (2006), Manslaughter (2014), and Bloodlust (2017). Even though most of the band’s set list was comprised of their more popular hits from the 90’s, their subsequent releases such as their 2017 Bloodlust cover performance of Slayer’s “Raining in Blood” is consistent with the Body Count feel and sound that made them famous and fit right in among the BC classics all the way back to 1992’s “There Goes The Neighborhood”.

 

The show opens with sirens and the Body Count title track, including the 9-1-1 “Smoked Pork” dispatch conversation voice-over introduction and the call to order that is the “Body Count Anthem” and “Body Count’s In The House”, both found on the same album. But while in the past the band has focused more on certain people groups, today the message is a bit more refined, pointing fingers at humanity in general. It’s everybody’s fault: #NoLivesMatter. Ice-T picks on every subject from racism to economics. Nothing is sacred. No one is safe. He says what he wants. He makes no apology. He’s not wrong, but at least he sings it to you in a way that makes you want to smash along with him. Body Count is a thrash metal band, and as such may seemingly lack some of the pleasantries and fine-tuning of modern metal music. This is no-frills, straight-up, old-skool. The sound may be raw and the message reality, but there is no shortage of talent in the band’s ranks. Straight outta Compton, Ernie C is still the band’s lead guitar, and he’s anything but typical. Growing up in LA, he was never impressed with the lack of showmanship found in the average R&B artist. He was influenced by bands like The Isley Brothers, but he wanted to live the adrenaline that only rock ‘n’ roll can provide. Now nearly 30 years later, through the iconoclastic anti-establishmentarianism that is BC, Ernie-C’s slick fingers still deftly noodle through Ice-T’s profanity-riddled “Talk Sh*t Get Shot” pimp lyrics like a knife through hot, face-melting butter. It’s melodic, but at the same time it’s mayhem….kinda like his hair. And even though the guitar players are usually the famous guys in the band (next to the lead singer) Body Count wouldn’t be Body Count with the same amount of impeccable rhythm and groove driving the low end. For many years now, Vincent Price has been the Tiffany lamp shade hanging in the fight club barroom that is Body Count…He really ties the room together. First he’s on one side of the stage, then he’s on the other. He’s looking at you, then he’s pointing at me. Encouraging a sing-a-long and shmooving along to the music in love songs such as “KKK B*tch”, nobody goes to a rock show to stand still and be bored, and Vincent Price makes sure you are neither. Over the years, the Body Count line-up has changed slightly. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a BC show, you’ll notice their new guitar player, Evildead’s Juan Garcia, who joined the band in 2013, and Ill Will on drums since 2009. But somebody’s gotta hold down the fort, as they say, and that is the same Sean E. Sean…the man behind the curtain (even though he’s right there on stage), working magic and running the samples for every song as he’s done since the very beginning. Every show ends with a bang, and Ice-T makes sure to finish everyone off with the heart-wrenching ballad “Momma’s Gotta Die Tonight” followed by the one track that scattered all the record execs back in the day and put the band on the map….”Cop Killer”.

 

Despite his hardcore presence, Ice-T has always invited others to share his stage and his spotlight.  In the video single for “All Love Is Lost” off the Bloodlust album, Ice-T features SVU co-star Kelli Giddish, who also plays Det. Rollins on the show. Co-starring in tonight’s performance was Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta with his side project “Jasta”, with a surprise performance by former Killswitch Engage front man Howard Jones. Ice-T and Body Count appeared at The Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ before shipping off on their European tour to support their latest album.

All photos Copyright ©2018 JAM Vaughan (LivingDedGrrl™). All Rights Reserved. Do Not Use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

Insomnium: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca – 6/6/18

  

 

Insomnium is a melodic death metal band from Finland. In 2016, they released their seventh studio album titled Winter’s Gate. The album is an interesting concept because it consists of a single 40-minute epic track, but is broken up into seven parts on the album. The album’s story is said to be about “a group of vikings who set out to find a fabled island west of Ireland, despite the treacherous winter drawing near.” Insomnium announced a North American tour and on this tour, they would perform the entire Winter’s Gate album as well as other greatest hits. The venue for the event would take place at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California.
The Whisky A Go Go was nicely packed by the time Insomnium came out to the stage at around 11:40pm. They started with Winter’s Gate pt.1 since it is the album’s opening track. The music sounds sounds just as beautiful live as it does on the album itself. Insomnium was primarily doused in dark blue lights, possibly to match the winter theme of the album and at times made it hard to see the band. Fans cheered as the band played as well as raised their horns and head banged to the music. The fans seemed to stay relatively calm which isn’t a surprise given that Insomnium‘s music is meant to be soaked in and enjoyed rather than form mosh pits. It wasn’t until roughly part 4 of Winter’s Gate where the crowd finally seemed to come to life and started a mosh pit and kept it up for most of the show. The album’s finale Winter’s Gate pt. 7 was played and Insomnium left the stage much to the fan’s disappointment. After a few minutes, it was time for the second half of the show. Insomnium made their way back to the stage and started to play some songs from their previous album, Shadows of the Dying Sun. The first song played from that album was The Primeval Dark. Once again, fans started rocking out to the music which went perfectly together. The next song played was the next song on the album, While We Sleep. Insomnium truly makes some beautiful melodic death metal to rock out to and to just enjoy. Insomnium would go on to play more hits which included Revelations, Killjoy, and the beautiful and emotional track, The Promethean Song.  Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end. for the show’s finale, Insomnium played Ephemeral. The perfect tune to end the night with and continue moshing away. Insomnium wrapped up their show, thanked the fans for coming out, then left the stage.

 

Slayer: FivePoint Amphitheatre – Irvine, CA – 5/11/18

  

Thrash metal legends Slayer recently announced that after over 35 years of making music, the band would embark on their farewell tour. To make sure that they went out with a bang, Slayer brought with them on tour some of the biggest bands in metal. It included Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament. The second stop on the tour was the newly built FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California. SoCal was so ready for this show that it sold out just  days after tickets went on sale. Even on this rainy day, fans still packed the venue early on. I missed Testament due to the usual nightmare that is Southern California traffic, but luckily I made it in time for the mighty Behemoth.

  

Behemoth are a blackened death metal band from Poland. They are currently riding on the success from their 2014 release The Satanist which earned the #1 spot on Loudwire’s 2014 metal albums of the year. Behemoth is now cooking up new music which we will hear very soon. Behemoth came out to the sold out audience and started the show with Ov fire and the Void. Right away, you can feel the evil in the band’s music and it gave you a feeling of discomfort, yet made you headbang and raise your horns to the music. Frontman Nergal always has a way with words when interacting with the audience and announcing the next song. To introduce the second song, Nergal said to the audience, “Let us rejoice, my brethren, for God is no more. This is Demigod!” and so the second song was Demigod from Behemoth‘s famed album, Demigod. One of the highlights of the show was when Behemoth announced their upcoming album which has yet to have any info on it, but Behemoth still gave the audience a taste of new music and played a brand new track, Wolves ov Siberia. Behemoth‘s set came to an end when they played O Father O Satan O Sun!, the final track from their album, The Satanist. The song seems to be over when all the band members leave, then they come back out for the ending of the song wearing the horned masks as seen on their music for Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. A powerful set by this fine metal band and the show was still getting warmed up.

  

If you’re a Slayer fan, chances are you are also a fan of thrash metal veterans, Anthrax. Alongside Slayer, Anthrax are part of the “Big 4” of thrash metal (Megadeth and Metallica being the other two). Anthrax released their newest album For All Kings in 2016. With lots of fans in the audience, Anthrax was ready to tear it up. Anthrax started the show with the always satisfying Caught in a Mosh as guitarist Scott Ian started the familiar guitar intro to the song. The song was written specifically for people in the mosh pit so naturally, a mosh pit formed right away and even crowd surfers started to make their way to the front. Thrash metal is some of the best music to see live as it always makes for crazy crowds. Anthrax proved this as they continued their thrash assault with their most popular hit, Madhouse. A song that’s super fun to sing along to, yet always makes for some insane mosh pits. Anthrax went on to play some classics like I Am the Law, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.), and Antisocial. Anthrax never had a dull moment in their show so when it came to the end, singer Joey Belladonna asked for a huge mosh pit as they played Indians. A great way to end their set and make way for the next band.

  

Lamb of God are a metal band from Richmond, Virginia. On May 18, 2018, Lamb of God released a new album under their previous band name, Burn the Priest. The album’s name is Legion: XX and is an album with punk covers. The lights went out and the audience cheered as the intro vocal track for Omerta started. The band made their way to the stage and started Omerta. By this time, rain had started to descend upon the sold out audience and with the venue being outdoor, it made it difficult to withstand the rain as fans tried to shield themselves from the rain. Frontman Randy Blythe always makes sure to interact with the fans as he would talk to them and make sure everyone is having a good time. Lamb of God next played one of their popular hits Ruin followed by a song from their previous album, 512. Blythe offered the audience to take a walk with him in hell, so Lamb of God next played Walk With Me in Hell, one of their most popular songs and always drives the mosh pits wild. It was during halfway through the song when Blythe brought the song to a halt when he noticed that a fan was injured in the mosh pit. He had people move out of the way so EMT’s could get to the injured fan. What a guy. After about ten minutes, Lamb of God continued the song. Nearing the end of the show, Lamb of God played their most popular song Laid to Rest which drove the fans even crazier and has fans singing along. To end their set, Lamb of God played their Grammy-nominated song, Redneck. Blythe asked for the biggest mosh of the night and so the audience gave him just that. A wild ending for Lamb of God and still the main band of the night has yet to come on.

  

Kings of thrash metal Slayer are undoubtedly one of the most important metal bands of all time. The majority of bands that have come out within the last 25 years or so can say that they have been influenced by Slayer. The rain was still in effect, but that wasn’t stopping fans from having a good time. Even before Slayer came on stage, the fans were eagerly chanting, “Slayer! Slayer! Slayer!” as any Slayer audience should. The intro track Delusions of Saviour started and the stage came to life as fire started to engulf the stage, including Slayer‘s eagle logo. The band made their way to the stage and started with Repentless, the first track from their newest 2015 album, Repentless. Right away, you could feel 35+ years of thrash metal come to life as Slayer unleashed hell on the fully-packed venue. Mosh pits formed and crowd surfers kept coming. Their song Disciple is a live staple as fans love singing along to “God Hates Us All! God Hates Us All!”. All four bands members were on fire that night. Literally. As the band played, the pyro behind the stage would go off to match the rhythm of the song. Pyro makes everything better. Slayer blasted through many classic from throughout their career which included Mandatory Suicide, Black Magic, Postmortem, and Blood Red. Frontman Tom Araya took a quick break to talk to audience. He asked, “you guys wanna say WAR with me!?” the audience cheered in agreement. He asked, “are you ready!?” and the crowd cheered some more. Araya let out a powerful “WAAAAARRRRRR” along with audience as Slayer played one of their best songs, War Ensemble. Oh, how the pits went wild. Slayer dug deep into their catalog and played more old school classics like Hell Awaits, Seasons in the Abyss, and Dead Skin Mask. Slayer played South of Heaven signaling that the show was near its end. As the song ended, the band members huddled around drummer Paul Bostaph as he drummed the familiar drum pattern to their most famous song and one of the greatest songs in metal, Raining Blood. Whether you like Slayer or not, you have heard Raining Blood. Slayer played Raining Blood and everyone was seen headbanging, raising their horns, and even multiple mosh pit had broken out on the floor. Metal truly brings people together. Chemical Warfare was next and kept up the energy that Slayer had going all night. The show had come to an end and so Slayer played one of their most popular hits, Angel of Death. Araya let out one of the most infamous screams in metal which is how the song is played and is satisfying to have the scream piercing your ears. Slayer wrapped up their show and came out front and center stage to thank the audience for coming out. Araya held an intimate speech with the audience thanking them for all the years of support, “if it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you and goodnight”. Slayer walked off stage as a sense of gloom covered the venue with many fans knowing that they had seen the thrash metal legends most likely for the final time.

 

Behemoth

 

 

Anthrax

 

Lamb of God

 

Slayer

Municipal Waste: The Regent – Los Angeles, Ca – 4/27/18

The weekend hails upon So-Cal and with only a month’s notice, we are graced with the presence of Richmond’s beloved Municipal Waste. Recently I was able to catch this spectacle with the Mr. Pickles tour opening for the Bay area’s, Exodus which was nothing but a fantastic show. This evening in particular was just as epic. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve witnessed a room go completely ballistic and its a sight to behold every time. My take on this show is best described as complete madness and in the best way possible. Alongside MW were 3 opening bands: The Trappist, Savage Master, and Despise You.
Savage Master: Though as usual being in the LA area I always have the hardest time catching the opening band which was ‘Despise you’ I was lucky enough to walk in as ‘Savage Master’ took the stage. Ive seen this band on a smaller stage a few months back and since then have been in touch with catching them on future gigs. Like most Women fronted bands you adhere to a certain type of vibe, however, SM is able to deliver in a crowding venue as the seconds go by. With bangers such as “With whips and chains, “Burning Leather” and “Ready to Sin” they’re able to keep the crowd growing and chanting. These hellions are best fitted into the traditional heavy metal scene with pounding fists, leather and chains being the way they represent themselves and their music. Truly heavy and worth catching on any future shows.
Setlist:
Black Hooves
Vengeance Is Steel
With Whips and Chains
Satan’s Crown
Looking for a Sacrifice
Burning Leather
Dark Light of the Moon
Ready to Sin
The Ripper in Black
Death Rides the Highway
The Trappist:
Now, I’m one for being open minded through and through because I feel that its the best way to enjoy anything and everything. This band surprisingly made me consider that statement just a tad bit. Definitely won’t say anything negative on their behalf since they of course have their own unique style of doing things. The best way I can describe ‘ The Trappist’ would be speedy gutter grindcore. Don’t quote me on that exact label, but to me it’s what fit best. With a few tunes that were literally only about 5 seconds long and what appeared to be off tempo rhythm. I am definitely sure I heard one song played about 3 times. This band can bring a crowd together as well as make’em move. I can see that half of the people were into it while the other were just as confused as I was. This does not mean they aren’t any good, it just goes to show that there are times when these kinds of bands aren’t worth bringing to this sort of lineup. Nonetheless; If I do happen to catch them live again I’m sure it would be with their extreme types of bands playing alongside.
Setlist:
No Soldier Left Behind
This Means Wort
Victims Of A Bomber Raid
Patron Saints
Swignorant
Giving The Boot 
Municipal Waste:
Now, the main reason why this house was entirely full, with fans out at the front door asking anyone and everyone who had a spare ticket at a fully sold out show. After announcing that 100 tickets were left and in a few short hours being completely gone, there’s only one thing you’d have to expect at a show like this. The only predicament I fell into when taking photos during the Wastes set was that there was little to no room you could consider “safe” especially for a camera lens. With fists flying and legs kicking high up in the air and what looked like 20 people up on the center stage simultaneously, the venue was engulfed entirely with angst and rage. Heavy hitting jammers such as “Unleash the Bastards”, “Beer Pressure” and “Slime and Punishment”, the room echoes with chants and screams from all the die hards shouting alongside Tony Foresta’s lyrics. Crunchy rhythms and ripping bass tones are what give MW that signature speed metal punk sound you just love to get active to. The band currently has one show itself in the states before heading over to Canada and then to partake in a number of festivals overseas. Besides MW, the band members are also playing a few shows in their other bands ‘Bat’ and ‘Iron Reagan’. Make sure you check them out as well, as far as performance goes. This band always delivers a party wherever they land!
Setlist:

Breathe Grease

Mind Eraser

You’re Cut Off

I Want to Kill the President

Substitute Creature 

Slime & Punishment

Parole Violators
Headbanger Face Rip 
Terror Shark 

Born To Party

The Inebriator
Pre-Game
The Art of Partying
Photos and review by Hugo Juarez

Municipal Waste

 

The Trappist

 

Savage Master

Nightwish: Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca 4/12/18

  

 

Nightwish are a symphonic metal band from Finland. They are the most successful Finnish band worldwide, selling more than 9 million records and receiving more than 60 gold and platinum awards, having released five number 1 albums and thirteen number 1 singles. On March 9, 2018 Nightwish released their newest 2CD compilation album Decades which contains remastered versions of the original material. With the release of the compilation album, Nightwish set out on a world tour with a very special setlist. This setlist would include almost all songs from the band’s early career with their original singer, Tarja Turunen. These songs are featured in the band’s first four albums and some haven’t been played in ten years or more. To make the show extra intimate, Nightwish would have no support for the tour and would make each show each night two hours. One of the stops on the tour was the Majestic Ventura Theater in Ventura, California which made for a nice beach setting. As Nightwish was preparing to start, the venue was packed to almost sold out.
Fifteen minutes to the band starting, an intro video would be seen on the screen. With the last minute of the intro, a one minute countdown clock started which got the fans excited. The fans counted down the last ten seconds, then the lights went out. Nightwish member Troy Donockley, who plays the Ullieann pipes, was first to come on stage. He would play the first minute of the song Swanheart which works perfectly for his pipes. The rest of the band would come out and start the show with End of All Hope. This is a song that the band has not played since 2004 so for many fans, it was surely the first time hearing the song live. The second song played was one of Nightwish‘s best songs, Wish I Had An Angel. It is their biggest US hit to date and fans were happily singing along to the song. The third song played was 10th Man Down. This song has also not been played since 2003 making it for a nice treat for fans that will most likely never hear this song live ever again. Singer Floor Jansen looked amazing rocking out with the band as she head banged to the music and gracefully danced. Nightwish continued to bring the old songs into play as they played old favorites from ten years ago or more which included Gethsemane, Sacrament of Wilderness, Dead Boy’s Poem, and Elvenpath. Hearing these old tracks being played for possibly the last time was an amazing feeling of nostalgia for long time fans. Jansen gave these song justice that would make Turunen proud. Up next was one of the band’s newer songs and live staple, I Want My Tears Back. This is perhaps the band’s most fun song to jump and dance to. During the middle of the song is when Donockley plays his pipes and makes everyone dance to the segment as Jansen has everyone jumping, clapping, and she herself is dancing on stage. Moments like this bring fans together showing there is no hate amongst them. Bassist Marco Hietala went on to talk to the audience and joke with them a bit before introducing another old song The Carpenter from their 1997 debut album Angels Fall First which hasn’t been played since 1998, most likely since their first tour ever way before they toured the USA for the first time.  The Kinslayer was up next and this song hasn’t been played since 2005, most likely on the last tour featuring Turunen before being dismissed from the band that same year. This song was written about the victims of the Columbine High School massacre. Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean was next and is another old track that was last played in 1999. The familiar keyboards started and fans cheered as Nightwish played what is perhaps their most famous song, Nemo. Fans everywhere were seen singing along to the song and is always one of the best songs played live by the band. Slaying the Dreamer hasn’t been played since 2008 and is one of the heavier songs by the band and has Jansen rocking out on stage as well as the fans rocking out. Nearing the end of their two-hour set, Nightwish played the longest song in their catalog at 24 minutes, The Greatest Show on Earth from their newest album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. The song is separated into five parts, but only parts 1-3 were played. The song has a beautiful piano intro then Jansen jumps in with her beautiful soprano voice and sings part one of the song. The rest of the song is played flawlessly for the seventeen minutes of parts 1-3. Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end. Nightwish would perform their ten-minute symphonic metal masterpiece, Ghost Love Score. A beautifully performed song that made for a perfect ending. Nightwish finished their show and got a standing ovation from the packed venue. It was truly one of Nightwish‘s best tours.

 

John 5: Discovery Ventura – Ventura, Ca 4/11/18

Guitar extraordinaire John 5 released his first live album It’s Alive on January 25th, 2018.  He is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie and was also a longtime guitarist for Marilyn Manson. When he’s not touring with Rob Zombie, John 5 focuses on his solo albums. He has released eight solo albums with the most recent one being Season of the Witch. All of John 5‘s albums are instrumental and have no vocals so he lets his guitar work do all the talking. With the release of his live album, John 5 was once again ready to set out on the road in support of his most recent releases. On this day, John 5 made a stop in Ventura, California at the Discovery bowling alley. Ventura County made him proud as the venue was packed even on a Wednesday night.
John 5 had the stage setup with a screen showing classic horror/monster movie segments playing backwards and blow up carnival entrances. John 5‘s bandmates made their way to the stage with John 5 being the last one to come out and immediately started the show with Flight of the Vulcan Kelly from his 2014 album, Careful With That Axe. John 5 would immediately show his musicianship by swiftly and flawlessly playing his guitar exactly to the album. The first stage prop you notice is how he has a mouth piece that blinks and changes colors. After the second song, he would toss the mouth piece into the audience for a lucky fan to have. The second song played was Here’s to the Crazy Ones from his most recent album, Season of the Witch. Watching John 5 play his guitar is a thing of beauty that can best be described as something you have to go and see for yourself. The third song played was one of his more popular songs, This Is My Rifle. Every song John 5 plays sounds different so you never know what he will bring out next and is always a pleasant surprise. At one point, John 5 wore one of his own masks of his face paint while performing. A man dressed as an evil clown came up behind him and ripped the mask off John 5‘s face only to reveal a second mask in the form of flesh looking as if John 5‘s face had been ripped off. Another one of his props was when a man dressed as a little girl came up to John 5 and handed him a doll. John 5 used this to his advantage and ended up using the doll as a guitar pick to play his guitar. John 5 would go on to entertain his audience by playing songs from his recent album releases which included a cover of Enter Sandman by Metallica, Hell Haw I.G.R., Season of the Witch, and Portrait of Sydney Sloan. One of the more fun songs played live was The Black Grass Plague. In this song, for the solos, John 5 brings out a miniature Fender guitar which brought great laughs and entertainment to the audience. The second instrument for the solo was a banjo and it drove the fans wild as they cheered. John 5 made note that there would be special guests for this show as some of the stops on his tour had different guests. The first guest to come out was Sebastian Bach most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Skid Row. They performed covers of Parasite (KISS) and Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue). John 5 would reveal another special unannounced guest and it turned out to be Stephen Pearcy most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Ratt. John 5 showed how excited he was to have two influential musicians share the stage with him as he smiled throughout their cover of Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (Van Halen). John 5 would close out the show by performing a medley of covers of classic rock and heavy metal songs. To go with the medley, John 5 brought out a guitar that shot out lasers and even asked for the lights to be turned off to show the full effect. John 5 finished the show and the crowd cheered for him as he left the stage.

 

Nightwish at the Marquee Theater, Tempe, AZ

Listening to Nightwish is a lot like biting into a York Peppermint Pattie…you get the sensation of flying into their ethereal images and the feeling of fantastical transportation, weaving through a complex, otherworldly sonic tapestry. Their symphonic metal overtures transmute sound to adventure through a delicate alchemy of crunch and vigor gilded with elegance and intellect. Close your eyes and you’re the hero in your own Skyrim or Finnish version of Final Fantasy. And that’s just the album by itself….

Nightwish live is the most decadent of guilty pleasures. They sound lux and exquisite, yet their stage presence is warm and welcoming. The hauntingly iconic Nightwish sound of Troy Donockley playing the Uilleann Pipes and tin whistle set the tone for the evening as a sort-of call to gather at the feet of a famous storyteller awaiting the tales of  Man’s daily trials and tribulations told with bardic flair and contemplative depth. Quoting such celebratory sources as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Charles Darwin, keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind behind the music, is an exquisite wordsmith who transforms the doldrums and challenges of average life into thoughtful sonnets of celestial intensity. The music has motion and groove driven by a seraphic mix of electronics, beat, and signature metallic grunge, while the lyrics portray the excitement of one eloquent escapade after another. Every song is a miniature opus. The curtain opens with End Of All Hope from the 2002 album “Century Child”, an appropriate phoenician tragedy in the lyrical spirit of Hamlet which inquisitionally chronicles the struggle and previous death of the band and its resurrection into the magnificence that currently graces the stage. As one chapter closes, another one opens and transitions down the setlist to the raucous Wish I Had An Angel, a brutally romantic reflection of the emotions of a Mercution friend in love with his Romeon rival’s Juliette.  As the band meets its fans all across the globe in this their 2018 Greatest Hits tour entitled “Decades”, Nightwish has carefully added these and others of their most riveting and emotional selections to their set list from their past accolades from all across the calendar, including Come Cover Me from one of the band’s earliest releases, year 2000 album “Wishmaster” which back then featured former lead singer and three-octave soprano Tarja Turunen, and Elan, the release from the most recent 2015 album “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, which was the subject of a scandalous pre-release sabotage which leaked the album’s debut single. As a special gift for their guests, we were given copies of their compilation album “Decades” with which to remember this night.

Floor Jansen is my spirit animal. Your hostess for the evening, Nightwish’s lead singer is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the musical stage. She is the epitome of strength and grace. Her voice is rich and full of passion as she captivates the audience with her hypnotic transitions from operatic goddess to Death’s Roar incarnate. She floats across the stage in heels and a fluttering asymmetrical hemline dress. She is an elegant siren. Her luring and fan-lulling is fashionably disrupted periodically, juxtaposed by a blast of icy, earthy reality in the raspy vocals of bassist, Marco Hietala. Founding member and lead guitar player Emppu Vuorinen lights up the stage with his smiling eyes and his variety of technique, rhythms, and lofty melodic solos, occasionally ripping and shredding behind the tinkling, contrapuntal piano sprinklings of Tuomas Holopainen in such songs as Gethsemane. To enhance the marriage of emotion and music in this most grandest of evening illusions, the stage was brilliantly lit with ginormous LED screens that flickered complementary breathtaking imagery from beautiful animated snowscapes to the grandeur of Monument Valley.

Photos ©Copyright 2018 LivingDedGrrl™. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

 

Bonded By Blood/Novareign: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca 3/29/18

 

Novareign are a progressive power/speed metal band from Los Angeles, Ca. On February 16, 2018; they released their debut album, Legends. For a few years, Novareign has been slowly, but surely reaching the top of the mountain as they’ve been conquering show after show and opening for big names such as Michael Schenker just recently at the Grove in Anaheim, California. On this day, they would perform at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go for the first time to a nicely packed audience. Novareign started the show with Call on the Storm, the first track on the new album. Right away, yours ears will be shredded by the dual guitar speed from guitarists Danny Nobel and Balmore Lemus. In jumps in singer David “Icarus” Marquez with his high-pitch singing that would make heavy metal singers proud. As with most traditional power metal bands, their music includes some long songs. Even the opening song stands right at seven minutes and made for a great opening song. The next song played was Heavy Heart, another great track from the album. The audience responded really well to their music as they moshed and banged their heads to the music. With a short set to use, Novareign ended their show with Black as the Dead of Night, an almost nine minute finale. Novareign‘s career is just barely getting started and for sure will have many more opportunities to share the stage with other rock and metal legends.
Bonded By Blood are an American thrash metal band from Pomona, California. They named themselves after the debut album from San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal legends, Exodus. The group formed in 2005 and released their debut album Feed the Beast in 2008. To celebrate the occasion, they played this special show to celebrate the album’s tenth anniversary and would play the album in its entirety. Plenty of fans were in attendance and were more than ready to get thrashed out of their minds. Bonded By Blood came out and started the show with the first track from the album, Immortal Life. Right away, fans started moshing once again as the thrash metal music hit. Their fast and heavy music hit you hard and will easily make you throw your horns in the air as well as head bang. Bonded By Blood continued the thrash metal assault as they played through tracks like Necropsy, The Evil Within, Vengeance, and Self-Immolation. Singer Mauro noted how the venue was packed, even for a Thursday. He asked for the crowd to get louder if they wanted more fast music. After a few attempts, the band was convinced. The highlight of their performance came when they finally played the title of the album, Feed the Beast. The crowd got even more insane as they had clearly been waiting for that song. Up next was the final song on the album and Mauro once again noted how the fans had been requesting a certain song since they started performing. He asked, “what do you wanna eat?” and the audience responded with, “Pizza!”. Bonded By Blood played Theme from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and was a great thrash metal twist to the classic TV show intro. To end the show, Bonded By Blood played The Aftermath from their third album of the same name. It was the last chance that Hollywood had to really get crazy. Bonded By Blood finished up their set, thanked the audience for coming out, then left the stage. Shows like this prove that no matter what day of the week, dedicated metal heads will come out and rage.

 

Novareign

 

 

 

Bonded By Blood

 

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